Pilot meets
his Savior

90th Infantry Division
1999 Reunion

90th Infantry
Division Association

POW during WW2

June 6

Normandy 44 Association
General Meeting '99



This column collects information
and details about Périers,
the Association, the 90th division...
But make no confusion
between details and gossips !

(La République du Centre, December 22nd, 1998)

American pilot meets his savior 54 years later again
On July 8th 1944, a B-17 bomber (Take it easy) was flying back towards its English airfield of Bassingbourn. Hit by the Flak (German AAA over Dreux), its young pilot James Fore and rest of the crew managed to bail out. Last Saturday Jim was back in France.

Within Maurice Duval’s farm at Coudres, two families gathered Saturday for a very moving reunion. After almost 55 years James Fore was able to see again the place of his dropping, the house where he had been hidden and the man who had rescued him.

A matter of patience
Christian Levaufre who found this American pilot again was himself very moved of having been able to make those two men meet again. "It only was a matter of patience" he modestly claimed about this reunion.

On July 8th 1944, a B 17 bomber (Take it easy) was flying back towards its English airfield of Bassingbourn. Hit by the Flak (German AAA) over Dreux, its tanks burning, the pilot makes a loop over the little village of Lignerolles to afford the 9 crew men to be able to bail out. Maurice Duval, 17 years old at the time, sees the chutes in the sky and gets closer to the place of the landing. But only a parachute is remaining there and a German patrol after having inquired him about what he had seen makes him carry the chute to their vehicle.

A few hours later, Maurice and his father find Jim who was hiding himself in a neighboring little wood. He then stays for a few days in the grand-mother’s house while with the help of the French underground a departure towards Paris is organized. Before leaving, James presents his Freeman field graduation ring of pilot and a picture of him to Maurice.
But in Paris things turn wrong ; James is taken prisoner by the Gestapo, put in jail at Fresnes ( one of the famous jails around Paris), before to be taken to Buchenwald concentration camp. He stays there for 3 months till October 44, considered as a political prisoner and not a POW (because he bombed German towns). For 15 years Maurice Duval has been vainly trying to find his young sky fallen American airman again.

A tricky course
Dominique Duval - Maurice’s son - is working in the French Air Force. So does Christian Levaufre who like him is stationned at the Tours Air Force base.
Departing of September 1996, Christian Levaufre will have to follow a tricky course to be able to find this airman who according to the preciously kept short mission form was said to have been shot down on June 22nd 1944.
Nobody is reminding of the name of this 19 year old airman nor of the right date of the crash and the only clues remaining are a pilot ring, a yellowed picture and a short mission form. Very few details for a research that was going to last 3 years before to find James Fore again. Christian examines in details the American archives ; Day after day he registers all the B-17 that crashed at Normandy departing from June 22nd to finally discover that the right date was July 8th and that James Fore was the one who had jumped over the area that fateful day.

After having checked all the Fores of the States, Christian Levaufre at last finds in Colorado Springs the one who crashed at Normandy. James is so happy to get news from France that he makes his decision to call a visit with his family to Maurice Duval. His grand-son aged of 16 (just a little younger than his grand-father when he bailed out of his bomber) is with him.
Himself also very moved Maurice Duval gives back to James his graduation ring that he puts to his finger almost 55 years later again.

James then tells a few words to thank his savior : "Maurice Duval is really one of the courageous man I have ever met. He helped me to escape capture and without his assistance I perhaps would not be there today, nor my wife, my daughter and my grand-children".

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90th Infantry Division Association

Patch of the 90th Infantry Division
Patch of 90th Infantry Division

If you are a 90th US Infantry Division Veteran, in case you don't know, you have :

Contact : James R. Reid
17 Lake Shore Drive,
Willowbrook, Illinois
60514-2221 USA
Phone 630 789 0204
Fax 630 789 0134

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POW during WW2
If you were a POW during WW2 and need some information about your status, you eventually can get information from :

Robert M. Levine
American Ex-prisoners of War, Inc.
Garden State Chapter One
228 Zabriskie Place
River Edge NJ-07661

Phone 201 342 0393

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June 6 Ceremonies
Anniversary of the Allied Landings in Normandy

US Veteran returning
US Veteran returning

Ceremonies and unveilings pile up in June every year. A few official ones have an almost unchanging rate and almost always the same attendants.
In order to "equally" disperse the ceremonies, the Anniversaries of the Landing happen one year on Utah’s side, the other one on Omaha

Some say it is already too late to commemorate,
but it is never too late to try doing better.

Each return of Veterans, for years said to be for sure the last one, always revives the memories, the genuine ones and the others. No need to say that a friendly ceremony, in a little village, weaves many more faithful links than can be imagined

red arrow2003 : Schedule of Official Ceremonies

red arrow2000 : Inauguration and Ceremonies at Périers
red arrow2000 : Schedule of Official Ceremonies

red arrow1999 : The Official Ceremonies
red arrow1999 : Summary of "our" Ceremonies

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